Gauteng MEC for Education and Youth Development, Panyaza Lesufi, has expressed his gratefulness to all the stakeholders in the education sector for ensuring that teaching and learning continued throughout Gauteng schools, despite the tough challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
Schools across Gauteng ended their first term of 2021 academic calendar on Friday 23 April 2021 with almost 2.3 Million learners going on a break until the start of term 2 on Monday 3 May 2021.
Lesufi said some of the highlights included the completion of online placements, the reactivation of the paperless classroom programme and the distribution of mobile classrooms to manage overcrowding.
“We are proud to declare that we have placed all grade 1s and grade 8s and plans for the 2022 online admissions are steaming ahead,” said Lesufi.
He said they opened the 2021 school calendar on 15 February 2021, with many uncertainties which were brought about by the new normal of delivering quality education during the coronavirus pandemic.”
“Many parents were not sure whether they should allow their children back to school as this unseen enemy called Covid-19 continues to ravage our communities. The majority of parents heeded our call and released their children for the 2021 academic year,” said Lesufi.
Lesufi said the department had since repurposed its information and communication technology (ICT) investment from being classroom-based to catering for more virtual learning as one of its responses to Covid-19.
“The pandemic has compelled the system to adjust to the new normal to prevent disruption to teaching and learning. Technology provides for an alternative platform for curriculum delivery with more agility and adaptability to address the educational needs of the learners more specifically and on point,” he said.
He said they support the initiative by basic education minister Angie Motshekga to consider bringing back all primary school learners in term 2 as he strongly believe that the current rotational system is disadvantaging learners.